Tours de Noel: Old West End celebrates the holiday seasonWritten by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tour the historic homes of Toledo’s Old West End during the holiday event “Tours de Noel.”
Hosted by the Women of the Old West End, the tour features four houses decorated for the holiday season as well as the Mansion View Inn.
Tours de Noel, an annual event started in the mid-1980s, is the primary fundraiser for the Women of the Old West End, said Toni Moore, chairwoman for the event.
“We decided we wanted to do winter tours not only to showcase these incredible houses, but to also let people know Old West End is an incredible neighborhood to live in,” she said. “It is a neighborhood of neighbors. We all know each other down here and we work on many projects together.”
In addition to showcasing the neighborhood, the tour allows visitors to experience and appreciate the history of one of Toledo’s oldest neighborhoods, Moore said. Many of the houses were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
This year, Cheri Copeland and Mike Shull will open their 1895 home for its second winter tour. Copeland, who has lived with her husband in the Old West End for 15 years, said the neighborhood is a treasure.
“I think people don’t always understand or know about the Old West End and this is a great opportunity for us to share,” she said.
The couple’s house will showcase a fully decorated first floor as well as a “Star Wars”-themed Christmas tree in the basement.
Down the street, Dennis Lange’s home will also be on tour. Lange got involved with the tour again to show his commitment to the neighborhood, he said.
“I’m just one of those people who can’t say no,” Lange said.
Lange will have individuals leading tours throughout the first and second floor of his 1892 home. Groups will get to enter the rooms and really see them, he said.
Lange, who has a large collection of Santas, will have more than 300 on display. In addition, he has one yearround Christmas-themed room in his home.
While all the homes are within walking distance of each other, shuttle service is available, Moore said. Shuttles will run from the Park Lane Luxury Apartments, 142 23rd St., to each house.
Tours de Noel is from noon to 7 p.m. Dec. 5. Tickets for the tour are $15 a person or $10 for those 55 and older. Tickets can be purchased the day of the event or by calling (419) 244-4921.
In addition to the tour, a gift boutique featuring 12 different vendors will be setup within the Park Lane Apartments. Vendors will have many affordable gifts including jewelry, candles and homemade soaps, Moore said.
Also at Park Lane Apartments is the annual Arboretum Cookie Walk, benefiting the Old West End’s Agnes Reynolds Jackson Arboretum.
Each year more than 5,000 cookies are made and sold by Old West End residents to help cover the costs of the park.
For more information about Tours de Noel, visit www.womenoftheoldwestendinc.com. O